Swiss trains are swift, swish and snazzy. Well known for their journeys into snow-covered wonderlands, now is the time to book them for the summer.
Bookings are open for summer tickets on high-speed trains between France and Switzerland, for travel between 4 July and 30 August 2020. Get in quick, with early released tickets as low as £25. This high-speed route operates between Paris and Geneva, Basel, Lausanne and Zurich with a smattering of other Swiss splendours in between.
Paris to Geneva
Under 3 hrs from Paris, Geneva’s lake, proximity to the Swiss Alps, fine food and chic boutiques make this the most restorative of city breaks. Lac Léman, the proper name for Lake Geneva is the biggest lake in the Alps, with a 175km cycling route encircling it. Take on one stage or two stages of it to the likes of Montreux, and then come back by train as it is only an hour from Geneva. You will feel a world away when you are on your bike, however. Hire one at Genève Roule in the city.
Paris to Lausanne
Under 4 hrs from Paris, Lausanne is also located on Lac Léman, but on its northern side, with a glorious array of Alps beyond that. With summer approaching you can swim in the lake at Ouchy, or Vidy and Louis Bourget Parks are slightly wilder swimming spots. There are plenty of car-free zones so you can walk everywhere here, including the Old Town where a climb up to the top of the gothic cathedral is a must. The views are verging on ethereal.
Paris to Basel
It takes just over 3 hrs to get from Paris to the medieval Swiss town of Basel. Small and chocolate box sweet, head to the Old Town for ancient sites such as Basel Münster cathedral, St. Elizabeth church and the Rathaus town hall, Or ramble down to the Rhine where there are plenty of boat trips on offer. Local people swim in the Rhine too, so always pack your bathers for Basel. It is also worth taking a 40 mins train journey over the German border to Freiburg, gateway to the Black Forest, also full of many sweet layers.
Paris to Zurich
Travel from Paris to Zurich in just over 4 hrs to enjoy Switzerland’s largest city and the country’s beating cultural and economic heart. Despite being a financial and industrial hub, Zurich exudes historic charm with an old town full of narrow streets boasting medieval and Renaissance buildings. Wander down Spiegelgasse to see Lenin’s former residence as well as Cabaret Voltaire, where in 1916, Tristan Tzara and Hans Arp launched the Dada art movement. Of course, no trip to Zurich is complete without a visit to Lake Zurich whose shores are lined with plenty of parks and promenades.
You may also enjoy reading our blog on best cities to visit in Switzerland by train.
5 day trips from Paris by train
There's no lack of inspiring locations just a short train ride away from Paris, so if you fancy a break from the city why not plan a day trip (or two).
European city breaks by rail from London
It's easier than ever to take the train across Europe - and capital cities are by no means the only destinations available to those planning a city break by rail.